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Pioneering nursery plan

By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
Pioneering nursery plan

AN innovative new £4.2 million development in Dumfries will bring together elderly care and childcare.

Jackie and Kenny Bell, along with their daughters Georgia Bell and Alexa Sloan, who all run Jaybees Nursery in Lochmaben, are creating a pioneering facility on the former ICI land near Cargenbridge.

Their plans include a state-of-the-art, indoor-outdoor nursery offering round the clock care and opportunities for further development such as care and respite homes, outdoor activities, beehives and a butterfly farm. Plans are on track to be submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council this month to transform the derelict site, formerly owned by Scottish Enterprise.

Jackie explained the venture will ‘create further opportunities for children to learn and develop’ in their plans for a ‘bio nursery’. She said: “We are very much looking forward to embarking on this new adventure.”

The family is realising their dream with developer, and Queen of the South chairman, Billy Hewitson and site project director of Dumfries and Galloway Regeneration and Redevelopment John McGee. Together they hope to see progress on the site within 12 months and ultimately the creation of up to 75 jobs – with 30 to 35 at the nursery and up to 40 in the elderly care section. Mr McGee said: “There’s not a nursery like this been created so far, with all the outdoor spaces such as cycle paths and nature trails.

“Bringing the generations together, the elderly and the young, benefits both. We are looking at how we can make the space about all generations.

“It is a very exciting time and I think it is great to bridge the gap between young children and the elderly.”

Kenny and Jackie, left, with John at the site